December 23, 2013

Workshops make great gifts!

For all of you last minute Christmas shoppers like me, I just scheduled three dye workshops for the spring at my studio in Kansas City. These workshops would make a great gift for the quilter/maker in your life. I am happy to email you a special gift certificate that you can print to give the lucky recipient. Or, give yourself a gift!

Here are my spring offerings so far:

Saturday March 1 
9am - 1pm 
$75 + $25 supply fee
  This half-day workshop for beginners is perfect for quilters or anyone else who has always wanted to learn how to dye their own fabric. It will include three different methods for dyeing cotton or silk fabric, including custom dye gradations. Each participant will learn how to safely dye fabric and create 2 yards of their own hand dyed fabric.

Saturday, February 22  
9am - 1pm 
$75 + $25 supply fee
  This workshop is an introduction to Shibori - the Japanese method of creating patterns on fabric through resist dyeing. This technique is where common Tie Dye came from. Learn three different techniques for creating beautiful patterns on cotton or silk. Each participant will make multiple pieces of beautifully hand dyed fabric. Some experience with dyeing fabric or yarn is helpful, but not required.

Saturday, February 8  
10am – 4pm 
Cost = $150 (includes dye and auxiliaries, fabric is extra and can be purchased from me or you may bring in your own white PFD fabric)
  In this day-long fabric dyeing intensive you will learn how to dye all of the fabric needed to make a quilt top of your choosing. We will cover: calculating fabric needs for a quilt, dyeing fabric to match your designs, and scaling dye recipes. There is homework for this workshop. Each participant will come to the workshop with a quilt pattern chosen ahead of time and a finalized color scheme with no more than 6 or 7 colors. Adjustments to color choices can be made in the workshop, but its best if you have a clear idea of what you want your quilt to look like coming into the workshop. Depending on how many colors are in your design, you may or may not have time to dye all of your fabric. You will, however, have dye samples and scaled recipes to dye the fabric on your own or during open studio time. The beginning fabric dyeing workshop, or previous dye experience, is a pre-requisite for this workshop. The workshop is limited to 4 participants. 

They are listed in my etsy shop here:

December 9, 2013

Giveaway Day 2013!

Today is Giveaway day over at Sew Mama Sew and it's my birthday week (December 13!) so I am giving away a signed copy of my book "Modern Color - An Illustrated Guide to Dyeing Fabric for Modern Quilts"!

The book is a beautiful DIY guide to dyeing fabric for quilters and walks you through 4 different dye techniques on 9 different quilted projects. I think it's a beautiful book and I couldn't be more happy with it!

How to Enter:
Tell me what your favorite color is in the comments. Make sure your email address is easy to find in the comment or in your profile so I can contact you if you win. The contest is open until midnight, December 13 and a winner will be chosen December 16.

I will ship internationally!

Also!!! If you don't win and still want a signed copy of my book, they are for sale in my etsy shop: As a special treat to all of you, they are 15% off through December 13th with coupon code "happybirthday".

Good luck! And don't forget to check out all the other great giveaways on Sew Mama Sew!

UPDATE!! 12/15
Thank you to everyone who entered the contest! I loved hearing your favorite colors. I used a Random Number Generator to pick the winner and it came up with #26. So "Darlington Gal" is the winner. Congratulations! And don't forget, if you didn't win but you still want a signed copy of my book, they are for sale in my etsy shop:

October 20, 2013

Quilt Market + Quilt Radio

I'm getting ready for Quilt Market today. It's my first time going as a legit person (not just a helper) and I am super excited. I have some awesome postcards that I will be handing out and a sweet handout with a class outline for shops. If you are going to be at Quilt Market on Friday (Oct. 25) stop by my Schoolhouse presentation and hear all about dyeing fabric and my new book. It will be in room 362 D from 11:45 - 12:15.
This is what my postcard looks like on one side, for those of you that won't be there.

I will also be talking about dyeing fabric, my new book, and my new adventure at the Kansas City Textile Studio tomorrow on American Patchwork and Quilting Radio. Host Pat Sloan will be interviewing me a little after 3:00pm Central. You can listen live here:
The months are going so fast and I feel like I keep buzzing from one thing to the next without a break. So I'm going to go sit outside and have a beer. I hope all of you out there in the world remember to take a breath now and then!

October 13, 2013

I wrote a book!

My book is finally real! I received an advanced copy last week and I am so excited to have it out in the world. It is officially being released November 1, but you can pre-order your copy from me now! I have the books listed on my etsy page and I also made some custom dye kits to perfectly complement the book. Check it out: If you want your book signed, I will do that for free! When you purchase it, just leave me a note in the message to seller box and I will make it happen.

This DIY book teaches you how to dye cloth by hand to create unique fabrics to use in modern quilt designs. Features 9 modern quilted projects, in multiple colorways, showcasing the beauty of hand-dyed fabric. Includes instructions for setting up a home dye studio with minimal equipment and teaches key mixing techniques. You’ll be able to make any color you want, including any value (lightness or darkness) and gradation, allowing for an unlimited palette and endless inspiration.

The dye kit contains everything you need to get started dyeing fabric (except the fabric) including:
2 oz each: Sun Yellow, Deep Yellow, Light Red, Cerulean Blue, Black, and Khaki MX Fiber reactive dyes
8 oz. Soda Ash (dye activator)
4 oz. Synthrapol (to wash out the dye)
A dust mask
A plastic tub with latches to keep everything safe
My own basic dyeing instructions

Also, if you're in the Kansas City area, I'm having a book signing and trunk show on November 15 at the Kansas City Textile Studio (924 E. 5th St, KC MO 64106) from 6pm - 9pm. You can pre-order your copy and pick it up at the book signing. Use coupon code LOCAL at my etsy shop to take off the shipping charge.

July 11, 2013

News X 3

I have lots of good news to share. First off, I have spent the past three days making myself a new website. The address is the same: but it has a brand new look and is easier to navigate. Check it out and let me know what you think!

I am also excited about a new project I'm working on with my good friend Debbie Barrett Jones (she makes amazing woven panels and scarves). We are planning a community based Textile Studio in Kansas City. Basically, we want to create a place that fiber artists/crafters/hobbyists can go to safely dye fabric and yarn, work on bigger projects than they have room for at home, participate in fiber/textile events like show and tell, critiques, and holiday sales, and take workshops and classes. We are still in the planning phase and are looking for a space, but we created a survey to gauge interest. If you live in the Kansas City area and are interested, please fill out our survey

My biggest news, that I am finally able to share with everyone, is that I wrote a book! It's called "Modern Color: An Illustrated Guide to Dyeing Fabric for Modern Quilts" and is being published by C&T Publishing, through their Stash imprint (they make cool sewing and quilting books). It is a beautiful book and will be available for purchase in November. I will be introducing it at Quilt Market this October in Houston and I can't wait! There are 9 hand dyed and quilted projects with complete instructions and a chapter on dye safety. Yay for safety! And books!


June 7, 2013

At the SDA Conference (vacation in San Antonio!!)

Today marks one week since I arrived in San Antonio, TX for the International Surface Design Association Conference. It's great here. Seriously. San Antonio is beautiful. There are so many amazing things blooming and the river walk is one of the nicest parks I've ever seen. I've also had way too much good food and good beer. I could probably live here. Except I would be sweaty all the time. It is definitely hot and humid.

If anyone knows what this plant is, please tell me. It's gorgeous and it's everywhere here.
Anyway. I came here to teach a 4 day per-conference workshop on Percentage Dyeing - the method I use that involves weighing your fabric and then using that weight to figure out the dye quantities. My students this week went through an exercise to choose a color palette, mixed a 36 hue, 2 value color wheel as a sample (that's 72 different dye samples), learned how to match the colors in their chosen palette, used the recipes they found through color matching to dye gradations, and learned how to ombre dye. It was a pretty intense 4 days with a lot of math, but my students were so great! I truly enjoyed every minute of the workshop and I'm excited to teach it again someday soon.

This was just outside of our classroom at the Southwest School of Art. Check out all that dappled sun. The school is along the river walk and is so nice. Our classroom was in an old wine cellar. Tons of charm.
My awesome students hard at work.
Some of their color matching tests and a gradation at the lower right.
There was a gallery tour yesterday and I will be posting some photos from that later. Stay tuned! And check me out on instagram -

May 9, 2013

Empty Bobbin

 I am very excited to announce that I am one of Empty Bobbin's new designers! Shea Henderson, the mastermind behind Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio, is expanding her line of sewing patterns to include designs by other quilt makers and sewists. You can read about the other new designers at Shea's blog:
This is one of my favorite of Shea's patterns: Seeing Squares. I have this pattern, but have never attempted to make the quilt. The cover is just so great. Don't you love the color combination?

I can't give away too many details about my own quilt pattern other than to say how excited I am to be included in this talented group of women and that my pattern will be coming out sometime in the future.

Until then, here is a picture of a quilt I am finishing up right now for a show I'm having in San Antonio. Anyone going to the Surface Design Association conference this June? My show is part of the conference exhibition tour and is called "Sense of Place". It will be up at the Parchman Stremmel Gallery from June 5 - July 6.

And! It's the best season of the year! Kitten season! There is a Cats of Nimh situation at my neighbor's house and every spring there are adorable kittens to swoon over. This one's eyes just opened and she looks like a tiny version of my Owen. 

April 11, 2013

Good news when I need it most

The past two weeks have been the worst of my life. My dad passed away quite suddenly and unexpectedly on March 20. We were close. I learned so much from him - how to cook, how to sew, the importance of being patient and kind, that good craft really matters, and so much more. The first quilt I ever made was with my dad when I was about 10. There are also quite a few things he tried to teach me, but didn't stick - like how to golf, how to be organized and tidy, and how to drive a stick shift. Every day has been hard since then, but today there was a tiny ray of sunshine. It feels a bit selfish, but for a moment I forgot about my sadness and loss and remembered how it feels when something goes right.
About a year ago I was contacted by Pottery Barn Teen to design a quilt for them. They loved my landscape quilts and thought they would fit in well with their line of bedding based on a "surfer aesthetic". I actually designed two, a girl version and a boy version, but they only ended up using one of them and it is finally available!
Isn't this so exciting?! I think I'm going to buy one. I have always wanted one of my own quilts for my own bed, but just don't have the time to make one for myself. So even though it feels weird to pay someone else for my own quilt, I'm going to do it. And besides, those shams are badass. I know my dad would be so proud of me. I love you dad! Thanks for being such an amazing person and letting me take your sewing machine to college so many years ago!

February 17, 2013


This Thursday I'm leaving for Austin, TX to attend QuiltCon, the first conference of the Modern Quilt Guild. I am very excited. Though I don't particularly consider my quilts to be "modern", I still love looking at modern quilts and some of the techniques are integral to my quilt making process. I have been making things wonky and doing improvisational patchwork since before I even knew there was a Modern Quilt Guild.

This conference is going to be fun. I'm not going for any serious reason (this isn't the Textile Society of America, people). I'm going to meet people, and go to the 80's dance party, and buy fun supplies, and take a fun day-long workshop called "Get Your Curve On", taught by Sherri Lynn Wood (of dainty time). This is the kind of thing we are going to be doing:
Sherri Lynn Wood

It has been ages since I've been a participant in a workshop. For the past 6 years, I've been the one teaching the workshop. It's going to be so fun and relaxing to be on the learning side.

So if anyone else is going to QuiltCon and taking a workshop, I have some more hand dyed fabric scraps listed in my etsy shop. If you buy them and use coupon code "QuiltCon", I will waive the shipping and bring them to you in person. I will be arriving in Austin Thursday evening and can deliver them any time after that. Yay for quilts!

January 26, 2013

Summer Workshops

I am very excited to be teaching two new workshops this summer. I have had a few questions about both of them, so I thought it would be helpful to give a little more information here about what they are.
1: Exploring Color With Dye, June 2-5, part of the Surface Design Conference, San Antonio, TX
The focus of this workshop is on using Procion MX dyes on cotton. I will be teaching the percentage dye method, which is the method I use that requires using the weight of fabric to determine how much dye to use. It is a precise method that involves some math and is how I match colors and create smooth gradations of color. It sounds difficult, but after a little practice pretty much anyone can get it. Workshop participants will create an extensive book of their own dye recipes complete with swatches. The percentage dye system is a really important method for dyers to know. Learning it and becoming comfortable with the overall system would benefit anyone that is interested in dyeing fabric and the methods can be applied to any type of dye.

2. Introduction to Quilting with a Modern Aesthetic, July 21-27, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN
This workshop is open to experienced quilters who would like to try a more Modern approach (check out the Modern Quilt Guild if you don't know what this means) and people who have never made a quilt before and want to learn how to make a modern quilt. The primary focus of the workshop will be on experimenting with different piecing techniques including "wonky" patterns based on traditional quilt blocks, improvisational piecing techniques, and some paper piecing. We will also be discussing the use of color, asymmetry, and negative space in quilts. New quilters will be completing a small quilt during the workshop and advanced quilters can choose if they want to complete a small quilt or make lots of components to take home to complete. Everyone will end up with a lot of examples to take home.

Both workshops are going to be a lot of fun!